Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spicy Green Tomato Relish

     Your tomato garden has been prolific and produced a bumper crop--but the weather's turned cold and you've had to pick all the green tomatoes before they could freeze. Now what? 

     Tomatoes can ripen sitting on a window sill or wrapped in newspaper, but cooked green tomatoes are a tart, tasty vegetable in their own right. This relish has an intense flavor but contains no common allergens, yeast or, once the pepper is peeled, corn.

     1 red bell pepper (or hotter peppers if you want some heat) (See Produce 
          in the Glossary)
     4-6 cloves garlic
     2 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     2/3 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice 
(See Juice in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     1/4 c. water
     1 Tb. chopped fresh dill leaves 
(See Produce in the Glossary)
     1-1/2 lb. green tomatoes, cut into 1/4" slices (or in half in the case of 
          cherry tomatoes)
     1 medium onion, quartered vertically (i.e. cut through the stem end) 
          and sliced thin

     First char the pepper thoroughly on all sides, either on a grill or a few inches under a broiler. Cover and set aside to cool.

     Crush the garlic in a garlic press. Put the crushed garlic on a small plate, add the salt to it and mash it thoroughly with the back of a spoon until it makes a smooth, creamy paste with no visible chunks (or use a mortar and pestle). Combine the crushed garlic with the lemon juice, oil, water and dill in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

     Peel, seed and chop the pepper. Set aside.

     Steam the green tomatoes until they they are tenderized but still crisp (this only takes a few minutes). Stir into the lemon juice mixture. Steam the onion just until it is turning tender (this too takes only a few minutes). Add the pepper to the steamer and give it a minute or so to heat up (it is already cooked). Stir the onion and pepper into the green tomatoes. Stir a few more times over the next half hour.  Drain.

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